Classic Screen Slaps: Week 2

Following last week’s post which doubled as a celebration for the premiere of The Slap on ABC, Film Blerg continues with our classic slap series.

This week, as a tribute to Anouk and the terrific Essie Davis, we’ve pulled a classic slap from a grand dame of Hollywood’s golden era. Criteria has now been shaped and will feature in each week’s post.

When picking a scene featuring the legendary Joan Crawford, many minutes were anxiously spent going over the pros and cons of each film. Mildred Pierce was a strong contender (especially in the scene where Veda brilliantly slaps Mildred) as was What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? However, one contender clearly stood out from the rest.

Film: Queen Bee (1955)

The Players: Joan Crawford (the slapper) and Lucy Marlow (the slapped)

Social context: Joan Crawford plays a socialite bitch who manipulates and meddles in everyone’s business. Classic over-bearing matriarchal struggle for alpha dog dominance type stuff.

Velocity: Seemingly out of the blue, but simmering deep within Joan’s character, the slap comes out of nowhere. The distance is strong and the speed is perfect for reaching that true desired Hollywood slap.

Hardness: Unfortunately for Marlow, Joan seems to be quite the method actor, and the waves that ripple in her face immediately after the slap seem to back this up.

Sound: Terrific campy sound that could only be replicated by slapping a rubber mat onto a stone.

Click here to see last week’s classic slap!

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